When a driver slams into, opens a door into or forces a bicycle off the road and then leaves the scene of the accident before information can be exchanged, a hit and run bike accident has happened. After the crash, there are steps that a bicyclist can take to ensure that their legal rights are protected and that they receive the full compensation that they are owed.
Hit and run bike accidents are common
Bike accidents involving a motor vehicle happen every day; and hit and run bike accidents happen far more often than they should. The main issue with an at-fault driver fleeing the scene is that the victim is left to use their own insurance to pay for medical bills, property damage and other compensation such as pain and suffering and lost wages.
What to do if you are the victim of a hit and run bike accident
These six steps will help bicyclists hit by drivers who flee the scene to regain control of the situation.
1. Check yourself for injuries. If you require medical attention let the police know when you report the hit and run so they can dispatch appropriate emergency responders.
2. Call law enforcement and stay at the scene of the accident until law enforcement arrives to take your statement about what happened. An accurate police accident report will help authorities track down the at-fault driver.
3. Document the accident with notes and pictures. While you are waiting for police to arrive, write down everything you can remember about the assailant and their vehicle as well as what caused the accident. Helpful details include license plate number, the color, make and model of the vehicle, the direction the vehicle left in and any physical characteristics of the driver. Take pictures of your injuries, your bike, skid marks on the road and any other relevant property damage.
4. Ask witnesses to stay to give their account to the police. In hit and run situations it is especially helpful to have eye witnesses who can corroborate your account of what happened and to describe who was responsible. Witnesses can strengthen a victim’s case and also help authorities track down the driver.
5. Call your insurance company. If you have bike insurance call the company right away to notify them about the hit and run accident and file a claim. Filing in a timely manner is your best chance to fully recover medical costs and replace your damaged bicycle.
6. Call a bike accident lawyer. A hit and run bike accident is serious and a bike accident lawyer is best suited to gathering all relevant information and witnesses to get ready for court once the individual is identified. Your attorney will gather any pictures, video footage and written notes as well as the police report and medical records and other documents.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an injury as a result of an accident or error caused by the negligence of another, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!